You can't stop Death...and apparently, you can't stop HD updates, either.

The Darksiders franchise was always stuck in a weird spot during the last console generation. The first game was a great start for the series, despite its shortcomings, and Darksiders 2 was a rare sequel that managed to change things up without completely alienating its fans. While both games were praised for their approach to combat and exploration, they weren't gigantic blockbusters - so, when THQ went under back in early 2013, the franchise was left floating in a void.

The property wasn't picked up during THQ's bankruptcy auction, and for whatever reason, no one seemed to want anything to do with the franchise - until a publisher named Nordic Games came along and bought all of the remaining THQ trademarks, Darksiders included. Now it seems that Nordic Games is trying to figure out whether or not fans are still interested in Darksiders: as both a way to rework the core game and test the waters for a potential third entry, Nordic Games and the team behind the original are releasing Darksiders 2: Deathinitive Edition for current-generation consoles.

To be honest, the announcement isn't all that surprising: news of a remastered version of Darksiders 2 leaked online earlier this year, though Nordic Games refused to comment at the time. Now, just before the biggest gaming show of the year kicks off, Nordic Games is finally ready to show its hand.

As with most HD remasters, Darksiders 2 will look a whole lot better on newer hardware. Lighting, characters models and environmental detail are all receiving a sizable boost, and everything will run natively in 1080p. There's also the requisite collection of the game's DLC, which is actually pretty expansive: the Deathinitive Edition will contain:

• The Maker Armor Set
• The Abyssal Forge
• The Demon Lord Belial
• Death Rides
• Angel of Death
• Deadly Despair
• Shadow of Death
• Mortis Pack
• Rusanov's Axe
• Van Der Schmash Hammer
• Fletcher's Crow Hammer
• Mace Maximus
• Argul's Tomb

Of course, re-releasing the game with its DLC doesn't mean that Nordic Games isn't also trying to fix the game's problems: loot distribution is being reworked, as are some of the more harshly criticized combat encounters. It's clear that the team over at Gunfire Games (the vast majority worked on Darksiders over at THQ) is passionate about bringing Darksiders back into the conversation.

That being said, it's clear that the game is also being used as something of a test: if people go out and buy it, Darksiders 3 is all but inevitable; if the Deathinitive Edition flops, don't expect to see much from the franchise moving forward. On top of that, Darksiders 2 is less than three years old - there are bound to be fans who are perfectly happy with continuing to play the game on whatever console they already own.

It's always a shame to watch a successful franchise suffer due to publisher troubles - that being said, the current trend of HD remasters is becoming somewhat unsettling. Waiting 10 years for something like The Master Chief Collection or compiling an entire franchise together (like the upcoming Uncharted collection) makes a bit more sense, but re-releasing a single game after just a few years sounds like something that's tailor-made to take advantage of players' wallets and the lack of console backwards compatibility.

Either way, Death is coming: Darksiders 2: Deathinitive Edition is set for release later this year.


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